Lyra Silvertongue's adventures in the North are long over--the windows between the many worlds have been sealed, and her beloved Will is lost to her. She does still have the alethiometer: the truth-telling device given to her by the master of Jordan College, which guided her journey.
Lyra doesn't know the full story of the alethiometer, though. Or the role that young Malcolm Polstead played in bringing both the instrument and baby Lyra to Jordan. She's now a twenty-year-old undergraduate at St. Sophia's College. To her, Malcolm is Dr. Polstead, an overly solicitous professor she would prefer to avoid.
But intrigue is swirling around Lyra once more. Her daemon Pantalaimon is witness to a brutal murder, and the dying man entrusts them with secrets that carry echoes from their past. They learn of a city haunted by daemons, of a desert said to hold the secret of Dust.
Powerful forces are about to throw Lyra and Malcolm together once again. And the dangers they face will challenge everything they thought they knew about the world, and about themselves.
La Trilogie de la Poussière, Tome 2 : The Secret Commonwealth
‘It used to be you who was impulsive,’ said Pan, ‘and me who kept holding you back. We’re different now.’
She nodded. ‘Well, you know, things change … This isn’t just shoplifting. This is murder.’
‘I know. I saw it.’
‘And maybe by doing this we’d be helping the murderer get away with it. By interfering with the investigation. That can’t be right.’
‘That’s another thing,’ he said.
‘You used to be optimistic. You used to think that whatever we did would turn out well. Even after we came back from the north, you used to think that. Now you’re cautious, you’re anxious … You’re pessimistic.’
She knew he was right, but it wasn’t right that he should speak to her accusingly, as if it was something to blame her for.
‘I used to be young,’ was all she could find to say.
He made no response.
They didn’t speak again till they reached the station. Then she said ‘Pan, come here,’ and he leapt up at once into her hands. She put him on her shoulder and said quietly, ‘You’re going to have to look out behind. Someone might be watching.’
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